The first three movies I remember watching as a child, before the age of four, was Masters of the Universe, Legend, and Willow. Each of these cult classics, along with other fantasy films viewed in my younger years (The Princess Bride, Dragonslayer, and Krull) had a huge impact on my childhood. It depicted how I perceived the natural world, it gave a framework for the elements of righteousness and malevolence, and it gave context to form the make-believe worlds from within which I played.
Before I could read, I was trekking the terrain [yard] on my divine quest. I had my sword [stick] in hand, a gunny sack [backpack] of gear [random toys], and battled through evil men and demons [invisible constructs of my imagination] to save the damsel at the tallest tower [tree]. The world was a dangerous place and it needed courageous heroes to right the wrongs, to protect all things beautiful, to wane the darkness, and to uphold justice despite whatever temptations evil would lay at my feet. These games persisted longer than I would ever like to admit. Sometimes, I find myself still playing them with my kids or through tabletop roleplaying.
Roleplaying games were the next best thing outside of my childhood games. I first found them in console games. Later, I was introduced to tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder. These experiences were as strong as those initial moments of watching He-Man defeating Skeletor [Masters of the Universe], Jack rescuing the fabled unicorn [Legend], or Willow becoming the most unlikely of heroes [Willow]. It was not long before I hankered for another story and moved into fantasy literature. The Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time, and Chronicles of Narnia were the primary influences and stories that I will read over and over again.
Through fantasy, I learned about myself and my own sense of good and evil. In fantasy, I found the origin of what made us human and what made us inhuman. In that realization, forever after, my heart goaded me to discover more within this ‘larger-than-life genre’ that the rest of the world seemingly overlooked. In fantasy, I found a purpose greater than myself and a sense of belonging. There was something tangible and meaningful. It was breathtaking, and magical; to this day, I am still enchanted by the beauty behind its idioms. Truly, I think there is a part in all of us that is attracted to fantasy stories. Not only does it allow us to dream, but it is through these stories that we find a better understanding of ourselves in our own miraculous world.
It is my hope that I enchant audiences through my own stories as well as I was enchanted in my childhood.
Joshua began crafting the world for the dark fantasy series, Thrice Nine Legends, in 1999. Melkorka, the first book of The Kaelandur Series, was published in 2015. The sequel is due to be released in 2016. In October 2015, a standalone novel in the same world [80 years prior to the events in Melkorka], called Anaerfell, will be available. Joshua currently lives in Alaska with his wife and children.